Delhi has about 56 traditional cremation grounds where bodies are cremated by burning massive piles (300-400 kg of firewood) in the open, billowing out clouds of black smoke, dust and toxic gases into the air. They also generate large quantities of ash that flows into the Yamuna. Particulate emissions PM10 and PM2.5 along with NOx, Ozone, Benzene etc., are high in regions around the cremation grounds.
To address the high localised toxic emissions from crematoria, CSIR-NEERI, Nagpur, has developed technology knowhow to mitigate air pollution from Open Pyre Green Crematoria
The air pollution mitigation system for Green Crematoria has been developed and installed at VIP Pyre 3,4,5,6 of Nigam Bodh Ghat, New Delhi, under Institute funds. The system comprises fume collection and handling, processing/cleaning, utilities and waste handling systems. It is innovative with an efficient scrubbing system leading to reduced emission of smoke, oil/grease, GHG and particulates with ease of recycling and disposal of scrubbed liquid and solids.
The technology helps in achieving the commitment of the Swachh Bharat Mission and directly connects with SDG 13. If implemented on a large scale, it can potentially reduce the burden of huge emissions at more than 50 open pyre crematoria in Delhi and other cities thus directly connecting to SDG 10 & 17 and reducing exposure of toxic air pollutants to air. The outlet emissions from the green crematoria comply with the concentration-based General Emission Standards of CPCB: PCLS/4/2000-2001 July 2000.
On 12 March 2021, the Hon’ble Minister of Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the Air Pollution Control System for four pyres of theGreen Crematoria developed by CSIR-NEERI at Delhi’sNigam Bodh Ghat Crematorium of Delhi. The Hon’ble Minister said that such technology helps to reposition our existing heritage by adopting clear methods for achieving our national and global commitments towards the environment. He further said that such innovations can also be applied to mitigate dispersed air pollution emitted from unorganised and informal industrial sectors.